Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Des Moines Register: Copper still in demand by thieves

To my cousin Mark, the younger - please keep your scrappin' clean!

Blog post by Tom Alex • talex@dmreg.com • December 21, 2010

A man trying to remodel a house in the 1300 block of East 13th Street in Des Moines suffered a setback this month when thieves broke in and ripped out new electrical wiring.

Anthony Estrada reported the burglary Monday. He told police he found a backpack full of electrical tools in the yard near the front porch. Estrada said a nearby business also has had copper wiring stolen in a break-in.
No arrests were reported.

Copper thefts have been discovered elsewhere recently.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that thieves searching for copper to sell as scrap have been targeting vacant houses owned by Waterloo schools.

Burglars broke into three houses and took copper wiring and pipes. The thefts were discovered Dec. 1 when school officials noticed windows broken out of a house.

The price of copper has been just under $4 a pound, and police have seen an increase in copper thefts in recent months, the Associated Press reported at the time.

On Dec. 15 Des Moines police reported a copper theft discovered by a real-estate agent.
Investigators said Brandon Johnson of Windsor Heights was showing the house Dec. 3 when he discovered copper plumbing and wiring had been taken from the basement ceiling. Burglars also took copper pieces that led to the central air-conditioning unit outside.
Officers have no suspects in the burglary in the 2500 block of East 13th Street.

Meanwhile, an employee of Eurofins Scientific Inc., 3423 Delaware Ave., reported Nov. 19 that someone had stolen electrical boxes, large-gauge copper wire and a $4,000 HVAC motor.
Police in West Des Moines said someone cut the padlock to a gated parking lot at Cook Plumbing, 1425 Fuller Road, at the end of November and took $690 worth of copper tubing from two trucks.